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Russell fears Mercedes could be slower than AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo

Russell fears Mercedes could be slower than AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo

F1 News

Russell fears Mercedes could be slower than AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo

Russell fears Mercedes could be slower than AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo

George Russell believes Mercedes could be slower than AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo after the team's struggles during the first two practice sessions of the year in Bahrain.

The Briton finished fourth in FP2 but six-tenths of a second adrift of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc as the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers finished just 0.087secs apart at the top of the timesheet.

Worryingly for the Silver Arrows, though, were the constant issues experienced with both cars as Russell complained about the balance in windy conditions whilst team-mate Lewis Hamilton struggled with bouncing and his brakes on his way to ninth-quickest.

"It is clear it is all about lap time and we certainly are not where we want to be," said Russell in assessing his day.

"We made a bit of progress solving some issues but the pace is not there at all at the moment so we really need to go over the data to understand where we are both struggling a bit with the car.

"We are a long way off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari, even the likes of AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo are seemingly on our pace or even quicker. We have got a bit of work to do."

But when put to him that fourth on the timesheet seemed to indicate promise, Russell commented: "No, but that is one lap.

"I don't think you can read too much into that one lap. I think the high-fuel is a bit more representative and we were consistently over a second slower than where our rivals are.

"I need to look into the data a bit further. Maybe there is a reason for it but from our side, we are definitely not overly happy with the car right now."

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